Carmine Appice is without doubt, a rock god. He played drums for the legendary Vanilla Fudge (on ‘Season Of The Witch’ and ‘You Keep Me Hanging On’), and he co-wrote ‘Da Ya Think I’m Sexy’ with Rod Stewart and Duane Hitchings. He’s also, with Vanilla Fudge, responsible for paving the way for one of the most popular genres in rock: heavy metal, by way of bridging the gap between psychedelic and prog/hard rock. The likes of The Nice, Deep Purple, Yes, Styx, Led Zeppelin, and Uriah Heep, all credit “The Fudge” as their inspiration.
Not only that, Appice created the first ever super-group along with Jeff Beck. Every drummer you’ve ever known has checked out his tutorials, while legions worldwide have studied – and adopted – his ground-breaking groove and wild, masterful showmanship.
So, when a guy like Carmine Appice names a double album set, ‘Guitar Zeus’, you know you’re in for some total rock destruction.
Appice places himself in the role of Zeus, ruling over a magnificent pantheon of rock heroes. The record claims to its credit the likes of Queen’s Brian May, Slash, Yngwie Malmsteen, Zakk Wylde, and Mick Mars…to name just a few.
The best track however, would have to be ‘Nobody Knew’, one of five new songs rounding out the re-issues. Appice, and his main band, which features Tony Franklin (The Firm) on bass, and Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s Kelly Keeling on vocals, have the basic ideas down pat, and clearly have May in mind. He’s on fire, he finds his groove like it was the most natural thing in the world, and the end result is an expertly-crafted track created by a group of masters of their craft.
‘Nobody Knew’ carries itself along on an understated, yet uncompromisingly stomping beat, as well as a timeless guitar crunch; the vocal melody conjures up a harder Bowie number, or perhaps ‘Mad World’, by Tears For Fears.
The video, directed by Robert Neilson and Carmine Appice, features the trio of Appice, Franklin, and Keeling, against a backdrop of ominous imagery, Keeling’s vocals painting a picture of a world rent in pieces, environmental decline, and an all-too-relatable feeling that things are changing, and not for the better.
Ultimately however, the band – along with Brian May – bring the message back to one of hope and solidarity: we’re all in this together. Stylized shots of the band doing what they do in the studio are cut into quick clips of families in gas masks and nature scenes, all with a psyched-out treatment that nonetheless lets the lyrics take the stage.
Find out more about Carmine Appice on his Facebook page.
Watch the video for ‘Nobody Knew’: